DT 26088 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26088

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26088

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

If you’re so minded there’s a lot to complain about in this puzzle – double unches by the bucketload and a plethora of proper nouns, both in the clues and the answers. In spite of all that I have to admit that I quite enjoyed it – it’s an example of how a puzzle does not have to be very difficult to be entertaining. Let us know your thoughts via a comment – as always we appreciate hearing your views, and we extend a special welcome to those leaving a comment for the first time.
As usual the answers are hidden so that you cannot see them accidentally – just highlight the white space inside the curly brackets to reveal them.

Across Clues

1a  A site’s developed for rest (6)
{SIESTA} – we start with a simple anagram (developed) of A SITE’S.

4a  A sign of faith among the French in sport (8 )
{LACROSSE} – a sign that is made by Christians is A CROSS – put the French definite article around it to get a team sport originally developed by Native American tribes.

8a  Trial disrupted around university ceremony (6)
{RITUAL} – an anagram (disrupted) of TRIAL around U(niversity).

9a  Small measure in section of hospital liable to happen soon (8 )
{IMMINENT} – an adjective meaning liable to happen soon is made from a charade of IMM (1mm, one millimetre, small measure), IN and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat).

10a  Veteran hears row breaking out (8 )
{WARHORSE} – an anagram (breaking out) of HEARS ROW produces an elderly person who is still going strong after many campaigns or contests.

11a  In verdict, umpire’s given authoritative statement (6)
{DICTUM} – hidden in the clue is a word meaning a formal pronouncement from an authoritative source.

12a  French writer gets to live in old city in apartment (8 )
{FLAUBERT} – the surname of the French novelist whose masterpiece was Madame Bovary is constructed from BE (to live) inside UR (old Biblical city) which is all inside FLAT (apartment).

13a  Eric trained in firm to be eloquent speaker? (6)
{CICERO} – the name of the most famous orator in classical Rome is made by putting an anagram (trained) of ERIC inside CO(mpany).

15a  Hot plate initially off? That’s puzzling (6)
{RIDDLE} – the hot plate referred to is a GRIDDLE – remove the first letter (initially off).

18a  Determined couple of notes by old instrument (8 )
{RESOLUTE} – start with two of the notes in tonic sol-fa and add LUTE (old instrument) to get a synonym for determined.

20a  Colonial administrator cut short lottery (6)
{RAFFLE} – the name of the colonial administrator who founded Singapore (and after whom its most famous hotel is named) has its final S dropped (cut short) to leave a type of lottery.

21a  A doctor probing fashion designer, part of a circle (8 )
{QUADRANT} – the iconic British fashion designer of the 1960s, who introduced the term miniskirt, was Mary QUANT – put A DR (a doctor) inside.

23a  Oils a man deployed in famous painting (4,4)
{MONA LISA} – the most famous painting of them all is an anagram (deployed) of OILS A MAN.

24a  Become confused after parking row (6)
{PADDLE} – put ADDLE (to become confused) after P(arking) to get a verb meaning to row gently.

25a  Doctor is beginning to expand formal work (8 )
{TREATISE} – a formal academic work is constructed from TREAT (to doctor), IS and the first letter (beginning) of E(xpand).

26a  Article by Conservative lacking foremost abstract reasoning (6)
{THEORY} – article is THE – add (T)ORY (Conservative lacking foremost letter).

Down Clues

1d  Wild horse lacking love? Whip’s first shown for one needing taming (5)
{SHREW} – start with an anagram (wild) of H(o)RSE (horse lacking love, i.e. without the O) and add the first letter of Whip to get an assertive woman who needs taming (according to Shakespeare).

2d  Enjoyment in sentimentality waned finally — dubious source of money? (5,4)
{SLUSH FUND} – put FUN (enjoyment) between SLUSH (sentimentality) and the final letter of waneD.

3d  Free time after a lager is drunk (2,5)
{AT LARGE} – a term meaning free, like an escaped convict, is made by putting T(ime) after A and finishing with an anagram (is drunk) of LAGER.

4d  Elizabeth’s favourite traditional capital site (9,6)
{LEICESTER SQUARE} – the favourite and supposed suitor of Elizabeth I was Robert Dudley. We want his title, which is followed by SQUARE (traditional) to make the famous location in London where all the big film premieres now take place.

5d  Fellow theatre worker, maybe, full of humour? (7)
{COMEDIC} – double definition – firstly (which would be 2-5) a fellow surgeon working in an operating theatre.

6d  Some suspect recurrent apparition (7)
{SPECTRE} – a word for an apparition is hidden (some) in the clue.

7d  Unprepared casual sort with soldiers in river (9)
{EXTEMPORE} – a word meaning without preparation, like a speech made off the cuff without notes, is constructed from TEMP (casual sort) and OR (soldiers, other ranks) inside the river EXE.

12d  Form a rift sadly? On the contrary (3,4,2)
{FAR FROM IT} – a phrase meaning on the contrary is made from an anagram (sadly) of FORM A RIFT.

14d  Leo cried terribly absorbing good poet (9)
{COLERIDGE} – an anagram (terribly) of LEO CRIED with (absorbing) G(ood) gives us the name of a Romantic poet, perhaps most famous for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

16d  Backs excuse given in court (7)
{DEFENCE} – double definition – those players at the back whose job is to prevent the opposition from scoring, and the defendant’s plea or argument in court. Is excuse a slightly odd word to use for this?

17d  Retired professors showing worth in European institute (7)
{EMERITI} – a retired professor who is allowed to keep his/her title as an honour is an EMERITUS. Here we want the plural form which is made from MERIT (worth) inside E(uropean) and I(nstitute).

19d  Guy by boat not new to remain in place (4,3)
{STAY PUT} – put together STAY (rope, guy) and PU(n)T (type of boat without N(ew)).

22d  Very small — like a secondary school student? (5)
{TEENY} – I suppose that if a teenager (secondary school student) is a TEEN, then adding a Y could mean like a teenager. It’s also a twee word for very small. I’m glad the setter added a question mark to this one!

I liked 21a, 3d and 5d today, but my favourite clue was 4d. What do you think? – leave us a comment, and please take the time to cast a vote to indicate how you rated the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

45 comments on “DT 26088

  1. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, answers from literature all over the place. Half of the clues easy peasy and half needing a lot of thought, enough to keep the interest on high speed.
    Thanks for the tips Gazza, I liked the MQ photo, those were the days, I think i even had a flowery kipper tie

  2. I agree that this was an enjoyable puzzle. Like you my favourite was 4d. I also liked 12a, 17d and 22d. Many thanks for the notes. Do we know who today’s setter was? From the use of two word answers in the grid, I assume it was not Ray T today.

    1. Prolixic
      I don’t know who the setter is – perhaps he/she would like to leave a comment and claim the credit? A pattern seems to have been established in which Ray T is the setter on alternate Tuesdays.

  3. I have never been a great proponent for literary references in cryptic crosswords, even though all of the ones today I knew. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword, thought it was much better than yesterday, and like Prolixic, am intrigued to know who the setter was.

  4. Most enjoyable, especially after yesterday, despite 9 anagrams!

    22d. I thought this was a bit tenuous, as all secondary school students are not teens.

    16d. Nice to see a compiler who realises that there are sports other than cricket! I wondered about “excuse” too.

  5. Most enjoyable – not too difficult but I still needed help with 7d and 17d.
    Has there ever been an easier clue than 23a? 4a and 10a were my favourites.

  6. Nice Tuesday outing – few to think about but not horrendous. I liked 12a and 21a for my choices today. Got stuck on 17d for ages and kicked myself when I finally got it.

    Since the Toughie is by Giovanni I may have a go and see how I do.

  7. I see nothing wrong with the grid. All words have as least half the letters interlocking including the first and last in each. I did not like yesterday’s grid with four almost isolated corners and 4 5-lettered-words with only 2 letters interlocking.

    1. Cephas
      Are we to take it that this is one of yours? I agree that the grid is ok – I made the comment about double unches with the expectation that there would be some complaints.

  8. It’s actually one of mine! Thanks to Gazza for the blog and others for comments. Regarding the grid, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this particular one – a few double unches in a highly interlocking pattern should not be too difficult to negotiate. As setters, we do not create our own grids but work within a range approved by the Telegraph. Maybe, if people feel strongly about certain grids, they should consider letting the Telegraph know.

    1. Shamus, thanks for disclosing your identity as today’s setter – many thanks for an enjoyable morning’s train journey. The versatility of the top setters to compile both a puzzle like Toughie 250 and today’s cryptic amazes me. Both enjoyable in their own special ways. Are you sure that you are not Giovanni working under a pseudonym?

      I terms of the grid, I have to say that I have never bothered about the presence of double unches. The quality and fairness of the clues (however difficult or playfully misleading) is what counts and here, again, you have excelled today.

        1. Short for “double unchecked”. It is where you have two consecutive letters that don’t cross over another clue – so you can’t check them.

    2. I really liked this puzzle. There was a good mix of easy, medium and challenging clues. It was a pleasure to solve. More puzzles like this please.

      Also, I know RayT (one of my favourite setters) does every second Tuesday. Is Shamus the compiler for the alternate Tuesdays or is that shared by a number of compilers?

  9. Who’s taking my name in vain?! ;)

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a double unch in a Guardian puzzle, probably at the back end of the 70’s and they have managed nicely without them. They actually make setters work that little bit harder to fill grids, assuming they don’t have the software to do so. I still think they are unfair and while Cephas takes the opposite opinion, he is entitled to do so.

    I perceive them as unfair particularly when you have a four-letter word with a double unch in the middle. There was one recently where the definition could have indicated one of four words that started and finished with the same letter, and the indications were not particularly clear..

    I find it rather sad that one or two setters seem to actively relish using those grids.

    Anyway, back to today’s puzzle. Despite the you-know-what it was a pleasant solve and one which had some nicely constructed clues.

    Some of you may or may not know of my passion for crosswords and am always happy to recommend outstanding puzzles. Last Saturday’s Independent was a beautiful quality solve by a fine setter and for those who would like to try it, mail me at tilsit999@gmail.com and I’ll happily send you a copy.

            1. Thanks for the info.

              BTW I enjoy the site and, in particular, the explanation of the answers – it has increased my knowledge greatly in solving the crosswords. Cheers

  10. Sorry – ignore duplicate question above.

    Being new to this lark, I was ecstatic to have finished it before DB published!! I was working a (quiet) nightshift, so had a bit of a head start. And I must confess to having had to consult the internet for a few of the literary answers.
    Favourites were 4a, 9a and 21a. Didn’t like 4d or 22d and 7d was a new word for me!

  11. Easy or not -we thoroughly enjoyed this – 12a took Hotlips on a trip down memory lane to his days working in a Charing Cross Road bookshop and 23a made me smile as my grandaughter always refers to this lady as ‘Moaning Lisa’ !

  12. Very good, thoroughly enjoyable many thanks to the setter. I would thank Gazza but no need for his help today!!!
    where are you Mary and Barrie?

    1. I’m here Toby but I think Barrie is away for a week :) I have been out most of the day and indeed finished well before i left, i love being able to get the puzzle early from Clued Up, thoroughly enjoyed todays though i must admit to putting warheros at first for 10a :( then thought I had spelt 4d wrong!! Love todays but am still ignorant as to double unches!!! thanks Gazza, thanks Shamus gr88888888888!

        1. Note to self:
          Stop blogging from iPhone as you tend to ignore all previous new annotations!.
          “I’ll get me coat!”
          Regarding the Dreaded 2^Us, I dont really notice them when the clues are sound (as today), but have had big trouble in the past on some grids – I can see where Tilsit is coming from in this regard.

  13. Is there a word for getting a word stuck in your head all day? I was convinced 4d ended in “Palace” DER!! Must be my age. Need a holiday.

  14. A very enjoyable puzzle though the SW corner stumped me for a while. Wouldn’t have got 4d except it was the only option once I’d got the checking letters. Liked 4a & 21a. Lots of anagrams – so good for me!!

  15. X-word 26088 (Nov 17th)

    Surely Emeritus is an adjective? so there is no English plural Emeriti??

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